How I Finally Transitioned My Hair — Without A Big Chop
June 6, 2017
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How I Finally Transitioned My Hair — Without A Big Chop

I was 8-years-old when I had my hair relaxed for the first time — much to my mom’s chagrin. She had dropped me off after school at the hair salon so that I could have my hair pressed and curled for my birthday the next day. I guess the stylist didn’t feel like dealing with my thick head of unprocessed hair — I was her last appointment of the day, after all. So, before tackling my strands with a curling iron, she put a mild perm in it to make it more pliable. My mom was pissed. Me? Thrilled. I was looking like the front of a Just For Me box.

In retrospect, I get why my mom was so irritated. That stylist was out of bounds, for one. But I also knew that she probably wanted to preserve the health of my hair for as long as possible. And like most things, mom knew best. I put my hair through it over the years: relaxers, touch-ups, and harsh Dominican blow-outs that involved 450-degree flat irons after sitting under the dryer for nearly an hour. Then, when college came, I tried my best to keep up with the baddies on campus by wearing a weave. Sew-ins are a protective style that can help hair grow, but it didn’t help that I was still tackling my leave out with a hot flat iron so that it’d blend with my 22-inch waves.

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Story by Khalea Underwood